King Kamehameha celebrations barred due to COVID

LIHU‘E — The King Kamehameha Celebration Commission on Friday announced the cancellation of the King Kamehameha Celebration parade events statewide due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The lei draping of the Kamehameha statue on O‘ahu may still be held in a private format, if permitted by regulations, and a socially-distanced Ho‘olaule‘a on O‘ahu is still being considered for the June 11 holiday.

“The decision to cancel these major, statewide events was made with the health and safety of our island communities and kupuna in mind,” said Kainoa Daines, chair of the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission in a press release. “While we are hopeful that the worst of the COVID-19 health crisis will be behind us by June, we feel the prudent response at this time is to cancel the parades as the preparations and event draw large crowds to prepare and attend. This allows all involved in our respective King Kamehameha celebration festivities across the state to focus on matters important to health, welfare, and economy. We look forward to a return to in-person festivities commemorating and celebrating Kamehameha Pai‘ea in 2022.”

Lyah Kama-Drake, the Kaua‘i Commissioner to the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission and the education outreach representative of the Kaua‘i Museum, said while Kaua‘i will not have the big parade or ho‘olaule‘a in keeping with the Commission’s order, the Kaua‘i Museum will be presenting a small educational program to celebrate the King.

“Our new wing should be ready for occupancy by June,” Kama-Drake said. “We will be featuring a special exhibit that will be available for viewing during the museum”s open hours from June 1 through the end of the month. More details will become available as the exhibit is firmed up and prepared for opening. This will allow people to enjoy the exhibit while staying within the social distancing guidelines.”

Additionally, Kama-Drake said there will be a socially-distanced private protocol on June 11 where the Royal Hawaiian organizations will be allowed to present ho‘okupu in a format similar to the unveiling of the King Kaumuali‘i statue.

“While we will miss the big parade and ho‘olaule‘a we enjoyed in the past, we will anticipate the events of 2022 that will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the King Kamehameha,” Kama-Drake said. “Until then, stay safe and stay healthy.”


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or

  1. RGLadder37 March 23, 2021 1:39 am Reply

    You’re right. The Ho’olaulea is held every year. This will be the second year that the Ho’olaulea will be cancelled. Every where. However, in Waikiki, it is beginning to pick up pace, and soon it will be back to normal again. Supposedly we are in tier 3 or tier 4 on Kaua’i. Meaning the Bars are open again and able to serve drinks until midnight. And the gathering of people stands at 25. I guess it will be like this every where. And Kaua’i is no different. Accordingly, I suppose that face mask law will also still be in effect. It has been there since April of 2020.

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